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Man on trial for glassing Hilltop Hood in allegedly ‘unprovoked’ attack

A member of the hip-hop group Hilltop Hoods has told an Adelaide jury of the moment he heard a “loud popping sound” on his head, felt a hot rush and passed out, after he was allegedly glassed at a wake.Band member Daniel Smith, 42, had attended the funeral of a friend’s father before a small…

A member of the hip-hop group Hilltop Hoods has told an Adelaide jury of the moment he heard a “loud popping sound” on his head, felt a hot rush and passed out, after he was allegedly glassed at a wake.

Band member Daniel Smith, 42, had attended the funeral of a friend’s father before a small gathering was held at a home at Aberfoyle Park, in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, in May 2018.

Christopher Peregi, 45, is standing trial in South Australia’s District Court after he pleaded not guilty to aggravated causing harm with intent to Mr Smith.

He has also denied assaulting Mr Smith’s brother, Ross Smith, by punching him in the head.

Giving evidence before jurors on Tuesday, Mr Smith recounted the alleged moment of impact.

“We were having drinks, having a laugh, carrying on a little bit,” he said.

“I heard a loud popping sound on my head, felt a very hot rush and my vision went blank and I passed out.

“My next memory is being in a melee and being pushed out of the property and asked to leave.”

It is alleged Ross Smith was punched during the fight, before bystanders intervened and the brothers were taken to a different part of the property.

Daniel Smith said he was left feeling confused, scared and angry.

“I was in a lot of pain, I was very confused as to how I had gotten there and how it all happened,” he said.

“I was in quite a heightened state … I reacted, most definitely.”

The court was told he was treated at the scene by paramedics then taken to the Flinders Medical Centre, where he had glass removed from his head and the wound was glued shut.

He said his right hand was also broken and “lacerated quite badly”, requiring a number of stitches, and he had bruising, temporary partial hearing loss, and chipped teeth.

Opening her case earlier in the day, prosecutor Carmen Matteo described Peregi’s alleged attack as “purposeful and entirely unprovoked”.

The court heard Peregi’s current wife had previously been married to Daniel Smith, and the former couple have a teenage son together.

Ms Matteo said jurors would hear Daniel Smith had no issue with the relationship, but Ross Smith had “taken exception” to his friend starting a relationship with his brother’s ex-partner.

She said in 2016 or 2017 an incident had occurred that caused Daniel Smith’s teenage son to become upset with his uncle Ross Smith.

“It is alleged that Ross Smith received a text message from the accused, which he took to be threatening in its tone,” Ms Matteo said.

“Consequently, and without delving into the whole history of this matter, by the time of this wake, there was possibly still some degree of tension, at least between Ross Smith and the accused.”

In a brief opening statement, defence counsel reminded the jury to listen carefully and keep an open mind until all the evidence had been heard.

The trial is expected to run for about a week before Judge Liesl Chapman and a jury.

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